Upstart, Lydia Chavez
Illustration by Carola Noguer

For the last two years, we’ve been part of NewsMatch, a national matching campaign supported by a collaborative fund at The Miami Foundation. Big contributors include the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation and others. Newsrooms receive a set amount — $20,000 in 2019 – and a lot of help in running a fundraising campaign between November 1 and the end of the year. This year the Zitrin Foundation, run by a Mission neighbor, added $10,000 to the match pool.

This meant that we had to raise at least $30,000 to get our full match. Readers, you did it! In two months, 313 different donors helped us exceed the goal and raise some $52,000 in amounts ranging from $10 to $5,000 (Newsmatch would only match up to $1,000 per gift.)

With the matches we added more than $80,000 to our budget – a significant portion. For 2019 overall, we raised more than $166,000 from 521 individual donors. That represents 63 percent of our budget. Thank you to all who participated by sending money as well as all of the lovely messages cheering us on.

And there is more good news: Report for America, a national nonprofit that helps put reporters in newsrooms, selected Mission Local as one of its newsrooms for this year. It contributes $20,000 toward a reporter’s salary and benefits. This means we have to raise another $43,000 to cover the rest.

So, we’re at it again – life at a small newsroom. Help today – every dollar counts.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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